Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Tip Day

In the very very short amount of time that we have to move out of Boston and into DC, Mr. Move-a-lot and I are trying to de-lead our house.  Massachusetts has very strict lead paint laws and we are doing everything from throwing doors away to replacing walls to encapsulating baseboards.

My job is mainly the encapsulation process, which means that I put a special paint over things that have lead paint in one or more of its paint layers.  I originally thought that encapsulant paint (which is $50 a gallon, approximately - ouch!) was some super secret scientific paint that sealed off anything with lead paint in it.  Um, I'm reading too much sci fi.  According to the expensive deleading class that Mr. Move-a-lot had to take, it's just bad tasting paint.


Yes, it's just paint that tastes really really really horrible and so when kids put their mouths on it, they won't do it again.  I don't understand why I could crush some red pepper flakes up into my normal paint or rub a chili pepper all over the place (works for my dog!) but there you have it.  Three coats of encapsulant, which can ONLY be white, and then two layers of colored paint over it.

Oh yeah, the tip!  I'm not steady enough to paint without using blue tape to stop me from painting EVERYTHING, but I've learned a good tip.  If, like me, you tend to take advantage of blue tape and freely glop paint all over the place, you must pull your tape up between layers.  One the paint dries or even semi-dries, if it dries OVER the small crack between what you're painting and your blue tape, when you pull up the blue tape, it will take a little bit of paint from the area you're actually painting with it.  Then, you have to go back through with a tiny brush or an uber-steady hand and touch up.  Taping is time-consuming, so balance whether you'd like to retape or touch up, but it's a tip I learn and regularly apply.  I go through a lot more tape that way, but it really works!

Happy painting this weekend!

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